Rituals, Routines, Ruts and the Disruptive Event

Wake up. Open eyes. Allow them to focus. Grab smartphone. Check only weather, horoscope and online sales stats. Maybe Pinterest. Get out of bed. Shuffle to the bathroom. Pee. Go to the kitchen. Fill kettle, place on stove and set heat to high. Wash dishes...

Everything you Want is on the Other Side of Fear

What are you afraid of? What stops you from taking the steps you know you have to take to create the greatness you want in your life? What feeds your procrasturbation? You know. You know you know. When you pull back a way and look at your choices, your actions,...

5 geeky reasons why great brands work
Five Geeky Reasons Why Great Brands Work

Identity Design is a largely misunderstood element of business, limiting the roles and influence it can have on shaping not only external opinion and success, but also internal morale and profitability. The process of designing a brand, look and feel is often erroneously fast forwarded...

las vegas cowboy
How to Survive Airport Food Without Major Injury

Changing planes between here and there the other day, I had just enough time to indulge in another American fast food treat unavailable in Germany, Cinnabon. Conveniently positioned directly in front of my gate, the delicious scent beckoned to me as I made my way up the jetway to the...

simply splendid
Yellow, the Color of Fear

There’s a new color in the sugar bowl, yellow, the color of fear. Growing up I remember playing with those familiar little white packets of sugar at the restaurant table. I would fan them out, admiring the artfully drawn but poorly registered pictures of the Space Needle and other local...

berlin bambi photo by amy stafford
Berlin’s Semi-Permeable Wall

Pedaling up into Prenzlauerberg the other day, enjoying the warm summer late afternoon, I came to a break in the buildings where a long strip of green runs along Bernauer Strasse. A famous street in the history of the Cold War, this is one of...

roll a ball
Life in the Land of Multiple Choice

After a hectic day of scooting around Los Angeles with my mother, pulling together details for my sister’s looming wedding day, we decided to relax with a margarita and Mexican food at Pancho’s, a Manhattan Beach favorite. Living in Berlin I have little opportunity to enjoy anything resembling authentic Mexicali so...

Disco David, Berlin’s Fallen Angel

About two years ago a flower shop opened up just down the street from me. I was a bit skeptical about the prospects of survival for this business, positioned as it was, on the shaded side of the street and directly across from 3 other...

kicking it in east berlin
Kickin’ it in East Berlin

East Berlin is notorious for a long history of illegal bars, underground clubs and secret dens of drinking and debauchery. In the last few years many of these hidden watering holes have dried up – succumbing to the pressures of propriety, liability and the police. Still, you can find a...

woman behind bars
V is for Vaterland

Berlin, being the capital city of Germany, is a place where every night promises a handful of political events, promoting whatever might be strategically advantageous with the obligatory glass of sekt and regional beer.    This reclaimed capital is crawling with diplomats who haven’t eaten...